Metro

‘I killed my family with a baseball bat,’ suspect in four murders in Groton reportedly told police

Suspect Orion Krause was led away by police in Groton from the home where he was found.

Wagner Alcocer

Suspect Orion Krause was led away by police in Groton from the home where he was found.

Orion Krause, the Oberlin College graduate accused of killing three relatives and a caretaker two weeks ago in Groton, quietly sang to investigators who questioned him about the murders and allegedly told them he “freed” the victims, according to police reports released Friday.

“I killed my family with a baseball bat,” said Krause, who was naked, covered in mud, and had cuts covering his body when he spoke with authorities at a home near the crime scene. “I freed them.”

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Police didn’t specify what Krause was singing.

Later, during an evaluation at Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer, Krause, 22, told a nurse that he uses heroin, the report said. The document doesn’t elaborate on Krause’s alleged drug use.

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Killed in the Sept. 8 attack were Krause’s mother, Elizabeth Krause, 60, and his grandparents, F. Danby Lackey III, 89, and Elizabeth “Esu” Lackey, 85. The body of Bertha Mae Parker, 68, a caretaker who looked after the Lackeys at their home on Common Street, was found outside in a flower bed, police said.

Krause, a resident of Rockport, Maine, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital, a facility run by the state Department of Correction. His next court date was scheduled for Oct. 30.

Defense attorney Edward W. Wayland said Krause’s mental state at the time of his arrest is “an open question.”

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“No one should make any assumptions about anything he is alleged to have said, including that any of it was actually true,” Wayland said in an e-mail. “Determining the truth is what the legal process is designed to do and it has barely begun to do it.”

The reports don’t provide a motive for the killings or details about Krause’s mental health.

In an interview with the Globe last week, Krause’s father, Alexander, spoke of the importance of paying attention to mental illness, but he did not elaborate.

Officers spoke to Krause after being summoned to Common Street by Wagner Alcocer, a resident who has said he called police after a naked man came to his home seeking help and claiming to have killed four people.

Krause allegedly made that assertion to Groton police Officer Gordon A. Candow, saying he murdered his mother, grandparents, and their aide, the report said.

As police handcuffed Krause after he allegedly confessed, he continued to speak with officers, telling them he had cut himself in the woods, providing his name, and spelling his grandparents’ surname, Lackey.

Authorities used that information to find an address for Krause’s grandparents and dispatched officers there. Once police confirmed there were victims inside the home, Candow read Krause his Miranda rights, the report said. Krause then stopped speaking with Candow.

Officers who went to the Lackey residence encountered a grim scene. A firefighter/emergency medical technician became sickened when he entered the house and had to enlist his superior to check vital signs for two of the victims, the report said.

As Groton police Sergeant Jason M. Goodwin approached the home, he said he saw through a window two elderly people seated in chairs and suffering from severe trauma to the face and head. A light and television were on in the background, Goodwin wrote.

Concerned for their safety, police grabbed medical bags, tore the screen out of the door, kicked down the front door, and rushed in. Inside, they found a third victim, also sitting in a chair.

Police searched the house to make sure it was clear. On their way out, they found the fourth victim face down in a flower bed near the driveway, the report said.

They also discovered “several feet of drag marks in blood” nearby.

Police dogs searched the area around the Lackeys’ home.

One K-9 officer found a cellphone in the grass that appeared to have blood on it. In the backyard, the dog and his handler found a blue shirt and a golf glove. Along the tree line, the handler located a golf bag, backpack, clothing, and baseball bat covered in blood, the report said.

The day after the attacks, a K-9 searching near Alcocer’s home found clothing, a pillow, and shoes in “thick pricker bush.” The shoes, the report said, appeared to have been placed there.

Police reports in the case were initially impounded under a court-approved agreement between the prosecution and defense, but The Boston Globe and The Lowell Sun challenged the impoundment order, and on Wednesday, Ayer District Court Judge Margaret R. Guzman ruled that all but three passages in the reports be made public.

The portions of the reports that remain under seal include “statutorily and constitutionally protected information,” Guzman wrote in her decision.

Wayland said he was disappointed the reports were released.

“Some details in those reports were more than the families of the people killed were ready to hear,” he said. “Now those details will be unavoidable.”

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.
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